ITV reprimanded after X Factor blunder

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ITV has escaped with a rap on the knuckles after overcharging voters on popular talent show The X Factor.

Regulator Icstis yesterday revealed its adjudication on the matter, which involved ITV charging voters using the red button 50p instead of the advertised 35p fee on the last series of the show.

ITV subsequently apologised for the blunder which cumulatively resulted in overpayments totalling £200,000. It offered full refunds, suspended its premium interactive services and appointed an independent auditor to tackle the problem.

Yesterday Icstis imposed a formal reprimand upon ITV.

It said its decision to withhold a fine on the broadcaster was made because of a number of mitigating factors – including ITV's voluntary disclosure of its error, the lack of public complaints and the lack of financial gain from the breach.

ITV donated the £200,000 to charity. Icstis' adjudicating panel requested that its executive check that the donation had in fact taken place.

A spate of recent reports into misuse of broadcasters' interactive content has prompted an investigation by Icstis recently. A number of other programmes have admitted or been implicated in alleged wrongdoing, including Channel 4's Richard and Judy and BBC1's Blue Peter and Saturday Kitchen.

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